10 new vaccines in TN's immunisation programme

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Tiruchirapalli, May 5: Ten new vaccines would be introduced in the routine immunisation programme in Tamil Nadu this year, according to Public Health Services State Director P Padmanaban.

Addressing a press conference here yesterday, he said vaccines for various diseases, including pneumonia and brain fever (Japanese Encephalitis), would be imported and added in the programme. ''We aim to increase the cover of immunisation and the new vaccines would play a significant role in preventing fatal diseases,'' he added.

He pointed out that over 56,000 children received vaccine shots the week that followed the death of four children in Thiruvallur district after measles vaccination. ''We expected 59,000 children and the response was not disappointing. Vaccines are administered under doctors' scrutiny and the children are made to stay for over an hour at the health centres and hospitals to undergo basic health check-up,'' he added.

To a question, Dr Padmanaban said that apart from the existing 1,000 round-the-clock primary health centres, 421 PHCs would be made available for 24 hours to encourage institutional deliveries. An equal number of PHCs would receive ultrasound scanner and 385 centres would receive a semi-auto analyser. Over a hundred new PHCs would be started this year and the mobile medical camp, conducted in select blocks, would be extended to all the blocks in two months.

He said increase in gestational diabetes was a major hitch in bringing down maternal and infant mortality rate. ''About ten per cent of rural pregnant women are diagnosed diabetic, which comes closer to the 17 per cent gestational diabetics rate in urban area.'' Over 95 per cent of primary-stage diabetes could be treated by dietary modifications and village health nurses suggest dietary modification as part of ante-natal care, he added.


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